Henry Coley got another chance this week.
Coley, the undrafted linebacker from Virginia who turned a rookie tryout into a full roster spot in New Orleans throughout training camp, didn’t make the final cut, and he wasn’t invited to be on the Saints’ practice squad.
Teams have called in the two months since he was released, but every time a team had a tryout, they wanted to see a veteran.
Coley went through a bit of lifestyle shock.
“You’ve got to lick your wounds and stress a little bit,” Coley said. “For the first time in a long time, football’s taken away.”
Coley, who made 14 tackles in the preseason, felt like he’d turned in a good training camp with the Saints, but he also realized that New Orleans had a linebacker room full of veterans.
“I knew the mountain I had to climb,” Coley said. “It’s easy to look around the room and understand the numbers game.”
Once Coley processed the disappointment of failing to make the final cut, he focused on being ready for his next tryout: running the 40-yard dash, working on linebacker drills.
Then the Saints called. With Dannell Ellerbe and David Hawthorne‘s status in question for Sunday’s game against Dallas due to injury, Coley has a chance to be put on the 53-man roster on Sunday, less than a week after rejoining the Saints.
The good news is he’s already comfortable.
“A lot of the stuff, whether it’s special teams or defense, I’m already accustomed to it a little bit,” Coley said. “It’s been little changes here and there, but it’s easy to pick up on it because I know the base.”